SpokenWord now at the Cave Café every Monday. AWOL writers’ workshop at the Chat Noir every Sunday.

For now SpokenWord is staying at the Cave Café… Arthur’s bar on the north slopes of Monmartre. 134 rue Marcadet, 75018 Métro Lamarck-Caulaincourt (line 12). Sign up at 8pm, poetry begins at 8.45pm underground in the cave. Hope to see you there! — David, 4th Feb 2023

SpokenWord Paris is one pole of a nomadic tribe of people who love poetry, writing and song. A home for creatives and lost anglophones. We do an open mic night called SpokenWord every Monday at the Chat Noir and an allied writers’ workshop every Sunday. We do a literary journal called The Bastille and Tightrope Books published many of us in the book “Strangers in Paris.” Click on the blue stamp on the right to sign up to the mailing list – if it doesn’t work send an email asking to be put on the mailing list to db1066 @ gmail.com. Our Facebook page.

Open mic/scène ouverte: Performance poetry. Lire vivant. Poésie sonore. Stand up. Monologue. Stories. Beat poetry. Spoken word. English. Français. Your own original texts. Old texts from Rimbaud to Dr Seuss, Beowulf to Gil Scott-Heron. Chacun a son mot à dire. Make the words come alive. Acoustic songs also welcome.

Poetry video clips on our instagram at spokenword_paris

SpokenWord Sounds
A taste of Monday nights at the Chat Noir, by Victor. Listen or download here.

Every Monday except August. Come to the Cave Café. 134 rue Marcadet, 75018. Métro Lamrack Caulaincourt (line 12).  Chat Noir, 76 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud 75011. Métro Parmentier/Couronnes. Sign up at 8pm in the bar. Poetics start 8.45pm underground. More info here. Paris’ biggest and longest-running English open mic night, started in 2006. All languages welcome. 

Check next week’s theme here. Themes are a suggestion to inspire you but you don’t have to follow them. Indeed, many people don’t.

AWOL writers’ workshop

AWOL normally takes place every Sunday evening, 5.30pm – 7.30pm at the Chat Noir (76 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011). AWOL’s facebook page. Free. Bring your writing or just come and listen and join in the discussion. Hosted by Bruce Sherfield, Simon Millward, Thibaut Narme and Camille Adnot. Friendly and insightful and afterwards you’re welcome to come for a drink. In a previous incarnation this ran for 10 years as The Other Writers Group and AWOL continues that group’s ethos of giving invaluable insightful feedback and providing a supportive space to hone your writing craft. Plus community among writers. Click here for a more detailed description.

Spoken World Online

This open mic is weekly on Tuesdays, an online version of what we do in the Chat Noir, and is hosted by David Leo Sirois. It’s on Zoom. More info at the Spoken World Online Facebook group.

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Alex Vellis is Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris, February 6th! Monday’s Theme: NUISANCE, La Cave Café, 134 rue Marcadet, Metro 12, Lamarck-Caulaincourt

Alex Vellis is a Greek-British poet, producer and playwright from Canterbury, Kent. He holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Kent and has published five books through Whisky & Beards Publishing. Vellis’ work challenges the ideas of hope and home, love and futility, and identity and place. His new book ‘I saw a bird once’ follows the lives of three people as they explore change in a working-class world His work has been used in schools in the Netherlands and in young offender’s institutes in the United States as a way to both display poetry and present a way to better understand our emotions. Vellis has performed both nationally and internationally as a poet, gracing stages in Paris, London, Oxford, and Malta. As well as delivering lectures at universities and festivals on events production, being a working-class artist, and poetry in the larger sphere. Alex has produced the majority of Kent’s poetry events for the last five years, including the online poetry festival (in conjunction with Connor Sansby and co) ‘Winchesterfest’ – for which he gained his second (unsanctioned) world record for producing poetry events. Currently, he is a poetry editor for a publishing house and an axe-throwing instructor.

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Jennifer Dick is Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris, Monday, January 30th! Theme. UNDERGROUND, La Cave Café, 134 rue Marcadet, Metro 12, Lamarck-Caulaincourt

Jennifer K Dick is the author of That Which I Touch Has No Name (Black Spring Press Group, London, 2022), Lilith: A Novel in Fragments (Corrupt, 2019), Circuits (Corrupt, 2013) and Fluorescence  (University of GA Press, 2004) as well as 6 chap/artbooks. She has worked as a literary editor & reader for Versal (Amsterdam), Upstairs at Duroc (Paris), & The Colorado Review, has taught Creative Writing Workshops for WICE, the Paris Writers Workshop , Kent University’s Paris in The Arts, Strasbourg Write a Story, and guest taught for Naropa and LIU Brooklyn’s MFA programs. She directs the UHA English Dept., curates Ivy Writers Paris & co-organizes “Écrire L’Art” at Kunsthalle Mulhouse Centre d’Art Contemporain. Originally from Iowa, residing in France for over 20 years, she has also lived in Norwich, England, Colorado, and Massachusetts, and traveled extensively. Thus she is interested in writing about place and displacement, and global polyphony—that is, the connections we have to our language as it slips in and out of the languages of others. Recent projects include completing the manuscript Shelf Break, the writing of a chapbook of shipwreck-related poems for Tupelo’s 30/30 project. She is on the panel judging the 2023 SWAS short fiction contest. For more: Blog: http://jenniferkdick.blogspot.fr

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Nicholas Calderbank, Damian Corcoran, Fiamma Bennett, Lester Lovelace, Joanna Bartholomew & Robert Bradford Are Our Special Guests at SpokenWord Paris, Monday, January 23rd! Theme: DISSIDENCE

Nicholas Calderbank is a British actor and director based in Paris. He has worked extensively in cinema, television and theatre. (And–in our words and not his– is a consummate professional). Founder of the On Stage and Open Space theatre companies he has produced plays by Shakespeare, Pinter, Mamet and others.In recent times he has focused on writing and performing his own material.

Damian Corcoran is an actor, and director as well as a voice artist and language coach. He has been acting in France for over 25 years and has a wide experience in theatre, film dubbing and voice overs, primarily in English.Theatre is his passion and he has acted in and helped produce a number of plays from Shakespeare to Neil Labute in theatres in and around Paris such as Le Nesle, L’Atelier, and Le Sudden. He regularly performs in public readings for Moving Parts Paris and presents his own poetry for Spoken Word Paris. He is co-founder of Brava Productions, and Open Globe Theatre Paris.Specialising in English narrations for documentaries, Damian is an accomplished voice actor and dubber working for some of the biggest film and TV production companies in Paris such as Studio Lincoln, Dubbing Bros, Ce Qui Meut as well as Arte, Canal+ and Imagine.

Fiamma Bennett has been performing and creating dramatic and comedic works since 2010 in English and French. In 2008, Most recently, In 2022,  she shot a television mini-series “L’île Prisonnière”.Continuing her collaboration with directors Jos Houben and Emily Wilson, she played Despair in the English mask “Cupid and Death”  In 2018 she worked with Theatraverse as an actress and toured at the Edinburgh Festival in the bilingual play “Monsieur Somebody”  She also played Hedda in “Hedda Gabler” (Ibsen) at the Jonquière theater; had the honor of reading for Peter Brook. She is part of a first adaptation of Deadmans cellphone in French: “Appels en Absence” at Lucernaire, recites in English the role of Cordelia in “King Lear”, She played in a Dadaist piece “Répertoire” in 2014. She has also participated in many short films, including Something Like That which was selected to open the Cannes Film Festival in 2022, and received the Best Actress award for the 24 Hour Film Project in 2014 for her role in”Kidnapping”. She also shot “A Poem of a House” for the National Trust, which allows visitors to see William Morris’ women come to life on the walls of his home, The Red House.

Born in London, and trained in the UK, Kester Lovelace has been living and working in Paris for over 30 years. He is associate artistic director of Drama Ties – a professional theatre company, which he founded in 1999, and for whom he’s written and directed a dozen shows. He also directed the first French production of Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing in 2009 in Paris, and on tour. On screen, he’s worked alongside Clémence Poésy in Jeanne Captive, Alex Lawther and Lambert Wilson in Les Traducteurs, and coming soon, with Léa Seydoux in La bête. He also works as a voice-over artist, on commercial, corporate and documentary projects, as well as radio fiction. He’s a coach and acting teacher at theatre schools in Paris, including the Conservatoire National Supérieur d’Art Dramatique. His podcast drama, My Lunch with Frank will be released in 2023.

Joanna Bartholomew Performing very early became central to Joanna. Coming to France as a young adult, she pursues the quest for the link between the body and the spirit, which continues today in her approach to acting. Actress and director, she also creates costumes and objects. She is the artistic director of Compagnie Lynx: http://www.cie-lynx.com;

Robert William Bradford is an American actor who worked extensively in San Francisco and Los Angeles before relocating to France; Nick directed him in his first stage roles in Paris – as Lee in True West and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing. Fate (and Nick’s writing talent) has brought them back together and this time they share the stage…both literally and figuratively!

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No SpokenWord 16th Jan. Next SpokenWord 23rd Jan.

Last week at the Hirondelle was great – great crowd, great poetry.

But unfortunately the Hirondelle has been hit with a large police fine for noise in front of the bar and have decided to stop doing events like ours.

SpokenWord will be back next Monday 23rd Jan, venue to be announced.

Cheers all,

David Barnes

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SpokenWord at the Hirondelle 9th January

Walt Whitman said to have great poets, you must have great audiences.

And with the temporary closure of the Chat Noir’s basement ours has been dropping. And no wonder! Not everyone wants to battle to be heard in a noisy bar nor strain to hear the poetry. We lost something of what made SpokenWord at the Chat Noir special – the quiet, the attention of all those people listening to each poet, listening like what they said was vital. We lost the ‘safe enough’ space that those walls and door provided that allowed anyone to step up and wear their heart on their sleeve and risk being vulnerable or take a chance trying out something new.

We lost, in short, something that made SpokenWord Paris magical.


As the news is that the Chat Noir’s basement will stay closed for up to 4 months…

We’re moving on Monday to try out SpokenWord in a similar space… the ‘cave’ of the Hirondelle bar, 25 rue de l’Hirondelle 75006 just near Métro Saint Michel.

Come out and support SpokenWord!

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Siobhan ”Shiv” Hickey is Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris, Monday, January 9th! Theme: CHANGING PLACES–New Venue HIRONDELLE at 25 rue de l’Hirondelle, 75006. Métro St Michel.

Siobhán “Shiv” Hickey is a Dublin-based actor, poet and Artistic Director of After Midnight Theatre.With over 20 years experience in performance, Shiv has been involved in all aspects of the stage from writing to directing to producing to marketing. In 2018,  Shiv developed and performed her one woman comedy show ‘Dear Diary… and other notions of a romantic nature’ which was also performed at Dublin’s FRAYED fringe Festival in 2019. Shiv wrote ‘Voices’ and ‘Dear Death’ both of which were performed as part of the Smock Allies Scene+Heard Festival in Smock Alley, 2020 and 2022 respectively. Both shows received top reviews describing her work as “honest”, “evocative”, and “pure poetry”. This year she directed and produced the first full length production for After Midnight Theatre, ‘Reasons to be Pretty’ which sold out 5 nights in the Teachers’ Club and received some amazing feedback. Shiv has published two collections of poetry ‘After Midnight’ (2020) and ‘Scribbles from an Anxious Mind’ (2022) – some of which she has performed in venues around Dublin and on The Word Stage at Electric Picnic 2022. Her work is influenced by the works of Leonard Cohen, Jim Morrison, and Emily Dickinson, as well as by modern Irish spoken word artists Vagabond Queen and Emmet O’Brien and the music of Paddy Dennehy and MILCK.

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first SpokenWord in 2023 on 9th January

More details to follow

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Ann Condron is Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris December 12th! Monday’s Theme: MIDNIGHT SNACK

Ann Condron, ”The Vagabond Queen”, is a mysterious, hat-wearing Spoken Word Artist and Writer from Dublin, Ireland. Showcasing her work since October 2021, she has since established a name for herself within a creative community in Dublin. Performing at various shows, Vagabond has shared her story at many guest appearances, and has also performed her pieces at Electric Picnic this year. Her work is heavily influenced by the inner and outer journey we encounter through growth and healing, while also encouraging the listener to find strength and light through developing a healthy relationship with the demons and shadows who walk beside us on our paths. Captivating an audience with words and rhymes that delve deep into the conscious of human existence, her writings speak of wrong roads travelled, the power of death and rebirth, and urban esoteric symbolism found in the places she has roamed. The Vagabond Queen also hosts and organizes behind the scenes at one of Dublin’s most beloved cultural nights, The Smithfield Creatives, every Wednesday. With much more to come in 2023, she is enjoying the process of this poetic journey.

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Trudie Gorman is Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris December 5th! Monday’s Theme: LIST

Trudie Gorman is a working-class writer whose work explores the personal and political interplaybetween class, gender, and the body. She has performed her poetry across Ireland and theUK and has published pieces in The Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry NI, Two Metre Review and The 32: An Anthology of Irish Working-Class Voices. Her work has also been broadcast on BBC Radio London. She was selected for Poetry Ireland Versify Series 2019 and has been awarded a writing residency at the Centro Culturel Irlandais in December 2022. Trudie believes in the revolutionary power of poetry and community.

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Emmet O’Brien is Our Special Guest at SpokenWord Paris November 28th! Monday’s Theme: SHRINK

Emmet O’Brien is not your generic poet, bursting into the scene in March 2017, Emmet has done more than your average 24 year old. Within the first 3 years alone he released a book, entitled “A Perspective From The Corrupt Mind Of The Youth” where he discusses various taboo subjects such as substance abuse, religion, and everything to do with the session. The poet was one of the first poets to be published in “District” magazines newsletter, aswell as various videos reaching tens of thousands of views. O’Brien, best known for his video “the North side” is also an event organiser, starting his poetry and music event “Vybrations” in June 2017. it saw incredible success, with amazing artists such as Colm Keegan and Hazel Hogan prefoming at it. The poet extraordinaire then moved on to run a second regular night, called “Phat Cones” which showcased Ireland’s best poets and rappers while educating people on the benefits and positives of medicinal cannabis. The magical wordsmith released his second book, entitled “Yup Ouveh” in May 2018, where copies were sold in both Ireland and the UK, aswell as copies being sold in Nigeria. O’Briens third book, entitled “The Illusion Of Perception ” released in March 2019. A play adaptation of the book was launched in March 19, and the event sold out in less than 12 hours. If that isn’t prolific enough, O’Brien has had many festival shows, playing Electric Picinc, Knockanstockan, Body & Soul, and All Together Now. In 2022, O’Brien had his latest poem “Story bud?” muralised onto the walls of temple bar in Dublin city centre. Most recently, O’Brien has played 2 shows in the Gate Theatre, supporting BAC’s beat boxing adaptation of Frankenstein.


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